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Top bridge player handed one-year doping ban

March 04, 2019

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Top bridge player handed one-year doping ban

World number one bridge player, Geir Helgemo has been suspended for one-year after failing a drugs test.

The Norwegian tested positive for synthetic testosterone and a female fertility drug clomifene, at a competition last year. According to the president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation the drugs were “not performance enhancing in bridge”.

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is recognised by the International Olympic Commitee. Therefore, it has been made clear that it is the responsibility of the players to avoid taking substances on the doping list and thus must be aware and abide to the World Anti-Doping Agency rules. 

Helgemo accepted that he had breached the anti-doping rules and will not be able to compete in events until November 2020. He has also had all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series event revoked.

As stated by the WBF, the Anti-Doping Hearing Panel found Geir Helgemo guilty of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, unanimously imposed the following sanctions:

a) Geir Helgemo shall be ineligible to take part in bridge competition for a period of one year. Since he has previously accepted a voluntary provisional suspension, Geir Helgemo remains suspended until 20 November 2019.
b) The title, medal, awards and masterpoints achieved by Geir Helgemo in the Rosenblum Cup 2018 and in all other competitions within the World Bridge Series 2018 are revoked and the medals and awards have to be returned to the WBF.
c) Consequent upon the Anti-Doping Rule Violation by Geir Helgemo, the Team Zimmerman result in the Final is automatically disqualified and the Team considered to have lost the Final of the Rosenblum Cup.
d) The Anti-Doping Hearing Panel having determined that the Team had No Fault or Negligence, the Team-mates are allowed to retain their medals, awards and masterpoints related to the second place of ranking in the Rosenblum Cup.
e) The nature of this and all championships require the National Federation to attest to the good standing of the athlete; no wrong doing or responsibility was found to be held against the Monaco Bridge Federation.
f) Geir Helgemo shall refund the WBF for the costs of the hearing, calculated at €3659.

The full WBF statement can be found here.

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